Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Situated 341 kilometres (212 mi) by road northeast of Mombasa that ends at Mokowe Jetty, from where the sea channel has to be crossed to reach Lamu Island. It is the headquarters of Lamu County and a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The town contains the Lamu Fort on the seafront, constructed under Fumo Madi ibn Abi Bakr, the sultan of Pate, and was completed after his death in the early 1820s. Lamu is also home to 23 mosques, including the Riyadha Mosque, built in 1900, and a donkey sanctuary.

Lamu, located on the northern coast of Kenya, is a historic and culturally rich destination known for its well-preserved Swahili architecture, narrow winding streets, and vibrant local culture. Here’s a guide to tourism in Lamu:

Lamu Old Town:

Explore Lamu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa. Wander through the narrow streets, characterized by intricately carved wooden doors and beautiful architecture. Visit historic buildings, including Lamu Fort, Swahili House Museum, and Lamu Museum, to learn about the history and culture of the area.

Shela Beach:

Relax on Shela Beach, a stunning sandy stretch located near Lamu Old Town. The beach offers a peaceful and picturesque setting with crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views. Take long walks along the shoreline, soak up the sun, and enjoy water sports such as swimming and kiteboarding.

Dhow Sailing:

Experience the traditional way of sailing on a dhow, a wooden sailing boat with a triangular sail. Take a dhow cruise around the Lamu Archipelago, visit nearby islands, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the coast. Sunset dhow cruises are particularly popular and provide a romantic and memorable experience.

Lamu Museum:

Visit the Lamu Museum, located in Lamu Old Town, to gain insights into the history, culture, and traditions of the Lamu region. The museum showcases artifacts, traditional crafts, historical exhibits, and displays related to Swahili culture, maritime history, and the local way of life.

Swahili Cuisine:

Sample the delicious Swahili cuisine in Lamu. Try local dishes such as pilau (spiced rice), biryani, samosas, and grilled seafood. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the local specialty, mahamri (sweet fried bread), and enjoy a cup of spiced Swahili tea.

Lamu Donkey Sanctuary:

Visit the Lamu Donkey Sanctuary, a unique conservation initiative that focuses on the welfare and protection of donkeys, which are an integral part of Lamu’s transportation system. Learn about the donkeys’ role in the local community and the efforts made to improve their well-being.

Siyu Fort:

Take a boat trip to Siyu Village and explore Siyu Fort, a 19th-century fort that stands as a testament to the history of the area. The fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and provides insights into the local culture and history.

Lamu Yoga Festival:

If you’re interested in wellness and self-care, consider planning your visit during the Lamu Yoga Festival. This annual event brings together yoga enthusiasts from around the world for a week of yoga classes, workshops, and cultural activities against the backdrop of Lamu’s tranquil atmosphere.

Local Crafts and Shopping:

Lamu is known for its traditional crafts, including intricately carved wooden furniture, textiles, and jewelry. Visit the local markets and shops to browse and purchase unique handmade items as souvenirs of your trip.

Lamu offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a truly enchanting destination. Whether you’re exploring the narrow streets of Lamu Old Town, relaxing on the pristine beaches, or immersing yourself in the local Swahili culture, Lamu provides a memorable experience that transports you back in time.